Schley project on hold

This waterfront view at the corner of Schley and Clarence avenues may be preserved, but it is likely there will soon be four new one-family houses at the location. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Community Board 10 voted overwhelmingly to disapprove plans to divide three tax lots into five. A developer wants to build four one-family homes on a waterfront parcel in Throggs Neck..

CB 10’s advisory vote opposed the plans of developer Roman Tabakman from Schley Avenue Development, LLC. CB 10’s vote will be considered when the application goes before NYC’s Board of Standards and Appeals on Tuesday, April 28.

According to the project’s architect, who spoke on Tabakman’s behalf, the developer wants to build four one-family houses on the property. Space for a private marina will be set aside on the fifth lot, though this is not currently in the proposed plans.

“We think that the vote against our project was a knee-jerk, N.I.M.B.Y. type of reaction,” said architect Tobias Guggenheimer, speaking on behalf of the owner, who purchased the property at 3236 Schley Avenue, in 2007.

There was some debate as to the wording of the resolution at the CB 10 meeting on Thursday, April 16. This led Guggenhiemer to feel that the vote was not fully thought through.

CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that it is not uncommon for the board to debate the issues surrounding a housing and zoning matter that has come out of committee, and to change a resolution before voting as a full board.

“It is not uncommon for the board to openly debate a new resolution,” Kearns said. “The majority of the board developed a new resolution at the meeting and it emphatically rejected [the developer’s plans].”

Despite the lopsided vote, Guggenhiemer contends that the homes will be an asset to the community.

“We think that four single-family homes that are individually owned would bring much needed economic stimulation to both the immediate neighborhood and the larger community,” Guggenhiemer said. “These will be handsome houses. We certainly were surprised by the negative response.”

The plans for the project also include a 30-foot easement requested by the Department of Environmental Protection for future plans involving separate sewer and drainage systems and a 10-foot sidewalk recommended by the Department of Transportation. DEP and DOT don’t currently have projects scheduled.

Despite the fact that there will be no public waterfront access, the developer has plans to keep a sightline to the water from Clarence and Schley avenues. This is important for the surrounding residents.

“We love the views of Long Island Sound and the boats and tugs we see going by in the water at the end of Clarence Avenue,” said Matt Griffo, who lives around the corner. “Our view of the water at the end of the block is a hidden treasure.”

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